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Classical Mythology in Context


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*=Primary Source Preface: About the Author: PART I: GODDESSES AND GODS Genealogy of the Greek Gods Timeline of Classical Mythology Map: Greece and Greek-Speaking Cities in Anatolia 1. CLASSICAL MYTHS AND CONTEMPORARY QUESTIONS 1.1 What Is a Myth? Myth, Legend, and Folklore A Three-Point Definition of a Mythological Corpus 1.2 What Is Classical Mythology? Myths from Ancient Greece Myths from the Ancient Near East Myths from Ancient Rome 1.3 How Do We Make Sense of Classical Myths? History Theory Comparison Reception 1.4 Why Study Classical Myths in the Twenty-First Century? 2. CREATION 2.1 History: A Greek Creation Story Historical Settings of Hesiod's Theogony Hesiod's Creation Story: The Theogony * Hesiod, Theogony 2.2 Theory: The Social World Shapes Myths * Ivan Strenski, from "Introduction" to Malinowski and the Work of Myth 2.3 Comparison: Levant: Creation Stories * Genesis 1:1-3:24 2.4 Reception: Titans in Modern Art Paul Manship, Prometheus, the Light Bringer Lee Oscar Lawrie, Atlas 3. ZEUS AND HERA 3.1 History: Order and Rebellion Zeus Hera Zeus and Prometheus Bound * Aeschylus, from Prometheus Bound 3.2 Theory: Universal Questions Shape Myth Wendy Doniger, from The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth 3.3 Comparison: Levant: Flood Stories * Genesis 6-9 3.4 Reception: Leda and the Swan in Modernist Poetry Marie Laurencin, Leda and the Swan William Butler Yeats, Leda and the Swan Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), "Leda" 4. DEMETER AND HADES 4.1 History: Life and Death Hades Demeter * Unknown, Hymn 2: To Demeter 4.2 Theory: Myths Reinforce Social Norms * Helene P. Foley, from "A Question of Origins: Goddess Cults Greek and Modern" 4.3 Comparison (Mesopotamia): A Sumerian Mother Goddess * Unknown, from In the Desert by the Early Grass 4.4 Reception: Persephone in Contemporary Women's Poetry * Rita Frances Dove, "The Narcisssus Flower" (1995) * Rachel Zucker,"Diary [Underworld]" (2003) * Alison Townsend, "Persephone in America" (2009) 5. APHRODITE, HEPHAESTUS, AND ARES 5.1 History: Love and Strife Aphrodite Hephaestus Ares Eros Unknown, Hymn 5: To Aphrodite 5.2 Theory: Myths Challenge Social Norms * John J. Winkler, from "The Laughter of the Oppressed: Demeter and the Gardens of Adonis" 5.3 Comparison: Mesopotamia: Ishtar * Unknown, The Descent of Ishtar to the Underworld 5.4 Reception: Pygmalion in Hollywood Pygmalion: My Fair Lady: Pretty Woman: Lars and the Real Girl: 6. ATHENA AND POSEIDON 6.1 History: Wisdom and War Athena's Birth Athena's Practical Intelligence and Men's Activities Poseidon Athena and the City of Athens * Aeschylus, from Eumenides 6.2 Theory: The Mind Structures Myth in Oppositions Simon Goldhill, from Aeschylus: The Oresteia 6.3 Comparison: Egypt: Neith * Unknown, from "Cosmogonies at the Temple of Esna" 6.4 Reception: Athena as a Political Allegory Eugene Delacroix "Liberty Leading the People" Francois-Charles Morice and Leopold Morice, "The Statute of the Republic" Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus" Frederic Bartholdi, "The Statue of Liberty" 7. HERMES AND HESTIA 7.1 History: From Herms to Hermes Hermes's Hills Ithyphallic Herms Beardless Hermes Hestia * Unknown, Hymn 4: To Hermes 7.2 Theory: The Mind Structures Myth in Archetypes * Lewis Hyde, from Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth and Art 7.3 Comparison: Egypt: Thoth * Unknown, "The Hymn to Thoth" * Plato, from Phaedrus 7.4 Reception: Hermaphroditus in Pre-Raphaelite Art Charles Algernon Swinburne, "Hermaphroditus" (1863) Edward Burne-Jones, "The Tree of Forgiveness" Aubrey Beardsley, "A Hermaphrodite amongst the Roses" 8. ARTEMIS AND APOLLO 8.1 History: From Adolescence to Adulthood Artemis Apollo * Unknown, Homer, Hymn 3: To Apollo * Unknown, Homer, Hymn 27: To Artemis 8.2 Theory: Myth, Ritual, and Initiations Jane Harrison and the Cambridge Ritualists Arnold van Gennep and Rites of Passage * Ken Dowden, "Initiation: The Key to Myth?" 8.3 Comparison: Anatolia and Rome: Cybele Artemis and the Phrygian Great Mother Artemis in Roman Ephesus * Xenophon, from An Ephesian Tale 8.4 Reception: Actaeon and Daphne in Contemporary Poetry Alicia E. Stallings, "Daphne" Seamus Heaney, "Actaeon" Don Paterson, "A Call" 9. DIONYSUS 9.1 History: Encountering Dionysus Viticulture, Wine, and Fertility Theater and Masks Mystery Cults Euripides's Bacchae * Euripides, from Bacchae * Unknown, Hymn 7: To Dionysos 9.2 Theory: Initiations and Inversions Liminality and Initiation Rituals Liminality and Dionysus * Eric Csapo, from "Riding the Phallus for Dionysus: Iconology, Ritual, and Gender-Role De/Construction" 9.3 Comparison: Anatolia and Rome: Cybele and Attis The Great Mother in Greece The Great Mother in Rome * Catullus, "Attis" 9.4 Reception: Dionysus as a God of the 1960s Dionysus in '69: The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite: PART II: HEROES AND HEROINES 10. ACHILLES: THE MAKING OF A HERO 10.1 History: Defining Greek Heroes Five Traits of Greek Heroes Heroes in Cult Heroes in Myth Heracles Theseus Oedipus Achilles * Homer, from the Iliad 10.2 Theory: The Plot of the Hero's Story * Vladimir Propp, from Morphology of the Folktale 10.3 Comparison: Mesopotamia and Rome: Gilgamesh and Aeneas Gilgamesh and the Burden of Mortality Aeneas and the Founding of Rome * Unknown, from the Epic of Gilgamesh * Vergil, from Aeneid 10.4 Reception: Achilles and War Poetry Patrick Shaw-Stewart, "I Saw A Man This Morning" Randall Jarrell, "When Achilles Fought and Fell" Michael Longley, "Ceasefire" Jonathan Shay, from Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character 11. MEDEA: THE MAKING OF A HEROINE 11.1 History: Defining Heroines Five Traits of Greek Heroines Heroines in Cult Heroines in Myth Helen Clytemnestra Hecuba Medea * Euripides, from Medea 11.2 Theory: The Plot of the Heroine's Story * Mary Ann Jezewski, from "Traits of the Female Hero: The Application of Raglan's Hero Trait Patterning" 11.3 Comparison: Rome: Medea Seneca's Medea Ovid's Medea * Ovid, from Metamorphoses 11.4 Reception: African American Medea Countee Cullen, The Medea, and Some Other Poems Owen Dodson, The Garden of Time Toni Morrison, Beloved 12. ODYSSEUS AND QUEST HEROES 12.1 History: The Hero's Quest Defining a Quest Hero Perseus Bellerophon Jason Odysseus * Homer, from the Odyssey 12.2 Theory: The Quest Hero Joseph Campbell's Monomyth Subjective Experience and the External Landscape W.H. Auden, from "The Quest Hero" 12.3 Comparison: Mesopotamia and Rome: Gilgamesh and Aeneas Gilgamesh and the Waters of Death Odysseus in the Underworld Aeneas in Avernus * Vergil, from Aeneid * Unknown, from the Epic of Gilgamesh 12.4 Reception: African American Odysseus Sterling A. Brown, "Odyssey of Big Boy" Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God 13. IPHIGENIA AND QUEST HEROINES 13.1. History: The Heroine's Quest Changing Definitions of Heroes and Heroines in Ancient Greece The New Heroine (and the New Hero) Iphigenia in Aulis and among the Taurians * Euripides, from Iphigenia among the Taurians 13.2. Theory: A Paradigm for the New Heroine Apuleius' Tale of Amor and Psyche Defining the New Heroine in Anthropology and Literature Lee R. Edwards, from Psyche as Hero: Female Heroism and Fictional Form 13.3. Comparison: Rome: Thecla Saints and Martyrs in Early Christian Communities New Heroines and Martyrs Thecla as a Christian Heroine * Unknown, from "The Acts of Paul and Thecla" 13.4 Reception: Ten Years of Iphigenia in New York City Charles L. Mee's Iphigenia 2.0 Michi Barall's Rescue Me: A Postmodern Classic with Snacks Select Bibliography: Text Credits: Image Credits: Glossary/Index:

About the Author

Lisa Maurizio is Associate Professor of Classical and Medieval Studies at Bates College. She publishes on Greek religious practices, especially divination at Delphi. In addition, she has written several plays on classical themes, two of which have been produced by Animus Ensemble at the Boston Center for the Arts: "Tereus in Fragments" and "The Memory of Salt."


"Classical Mythology in Context brings the nuances of mythology before the eyes of students who might only know these tales through some bland rendition that squares away all the contradictions and paradoxes in the original texts. This book insists upon critical thinking and thoughtful reflection from its readers."--Micaela Janan, Duke University "The inclusion of sections on Theory, Comparison, and Reception is one of my favorite features of Classical Mythology in Context. It takes the whole project to an intellectual level more ambitious than that of rival textbooks."--John Gibert, University of Colorado "I like the overall organization of this book. I find the primary source selections original, well justified, and interesting. The table of contents reflects many of the choices I have already made for my own Classical Mythology class, and it will be useful to have all of this in a handy volume."--Marie-Claire Beaulieu, Tufts University "The table of contents closely resembles how I teach classical myth. It touches on the myths themselves, but does not simply retell them. It considers religion, art, and scholarship, yet merges these seamlessly into a coherent presentation that is fun to read."--Robert Forman, St. John's University "Classical Mythology in Context may be the new standard for the undergraduate classical myth course. It breaks away from the encyclopedic content-intensive traditional format to a much wider scope. Chapters give due attention both to ancient cults and the literary classics of the Greeks and their important variants. Recurrent themes and patterns that mark ancient myth are enlarged with comparative texts from Mesopotamia, Rome, and even the early Christian era. Theories are not simply enumerated and summarized, but are put to work to illuminate the dominant concerns of mythic narrative. Explanations are lucid and accessible to students. Cultural connections, especially those that touch on gender, race, and hierarchy, figure prominently. Students will recognize throughout the book that what they are studying is consequential, with a long pedigree in the human story and a contemporary vitality worth savoring."--Joseph O'Connor, The Catholic University of America "The pivotal strength of Classical Mythology in Context is its inviting accessibility and ability to combine generalities with specifics. The author compels deeper reflection and stirs a desire to delve deeper into this heritage, into the enduring conditions of being human."--Edith Livermore, Loyola University Chicago

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